Recently she got me to make it, but I picked up the wrong recipe and it was not very nice, so this time I made sure I made it using the right recipe.
The cheese and spinach filling is lovely. Once the pasta shells are cooked my daughter will stuff a few of them with the cheese filling and eat them before they even go into the oven. I must admit I have one to.
The recipe says 30-35 shells I cook the whole packet, about 40 shells because some shells can tear, so it is better to have a few extra in case they tear. They will tear if overcooked, so be careful to cook it until it is just al dente.
As for the pasta sauce use the recipe below, it's so easy or you can buy one, you will need 2 x 400g jars, but home made is far better than store bought. If you do buy a sauce, make sure there are not too many herbs in it, it will take away from the filling flavour, and add 1/4 cup water to it in the baking dish.
With the ricotta cheese, buy a fresh one, not the supermarket smooth tubs, I really don't like them. I buy my ricotta fresh from my deli, fresh is so much better.
This is really easy to make and quite fast to make. It makes quite a few so would be good at parties, you can prepare the cheese filled shells earlier and refrigerate them covered until needed, bake for 45 minutes if you do this.
If you don't need this many ricotta filled shells, make less, with the leftover filling I make Spinach and Ricotta filled triangles using puff pastry (or filo pastry) the next day as a snack for my kids. Just cut out the pastry in whatever shape you like squares, triangles, circles etc. and fill the centre with a little of the mixture, fold over the pastry (or put another piece of pastry on top) and use a fork to seal the pastry opening together. Bake in a 200C oven until golden and puffed.
This recipe is delicious and something my family love, hope yours do to.
30-35 conchiglie (large pasta shells)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 rashers bacon, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
500g baby spinach
750g ricotta cheese
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large clove garlic, minced
2 x 400g can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Water, as required
10 basil leaves, torn
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Add conchiglie, one by one to a large pan of rapidly boiling water and cook until just tender. Keep stirring the shells every now and then to separate the shells, as they can fit inside of each other as they soften. Drain well. And separate them immediately, to ensure they don't stick together.
Heat oil in a large saucepan, add bacon and onion. Stir over a medium heat for 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the spinach, stir until the spinach has wilted. Turn off the heat and add the ricotta cheese, stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Make the tomato sauce: Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic, stir for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low, simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir the sauce every now and then, add small amounts of water during the cooking process if your sauce is starting to thicken to much. Once cooked, turn off the heat and stir the torn basil through the sauce.
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan forced.
You will need two baking dishes, big enough to fit all the shells.
Pour the pasta sauce evenly into your casserole dishes.
Spoon the cheese mixture into the pasta shells and arrange over the pasta sauce.
Sprinkle with the freshly grated parmesan cheese.
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